Kylian Mbappe: PSG target is left out of Monaco squad

Kylian Mbappe
Mbappe did play in Monaco's first two games of the new French season - including against PSG

Monaco's 18-year-old forward Kylian Mbappe has been left out of the squad for Friday's league match with Metz.

French newspaper L'Equipe has previously reported that Paris St-Germain are close to signing France international Mbappe, one of the most coveted talents in football.

He has also been linked with Real Madrid and Manchester City this summer.

Mbappe was an unused substitute for Monaco's most recent match, a 4-1 victory over Dijon on Sunday.

In explaining that decision, Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim said on Wednesday: "We never punish our players. That is not the right word. Protected is a better word."

He added: "When so many things are happening around an 18-year-old kid, it is our responsibility to protect him.

"Kylian is not at 100%. He is not in great form. But that is to be expected of a kid who is just 18.

"Even you (journalists), if tomorrow another newspaper offers you a contract where you will earn 15 times more, you won't be so good when it comes to tapping the keys on your computer keyboard."

Mbappe did play in Monaco's first two games of the new French season - including against PSG in the Trophee des Champions.

In July, Monaco accused several "top European clubs" of making illegal approaches for the teenage forward.

BBC Sport understands Manchester City were the only English club accused, although Fifa say they are yet to receive an official complaint.

Analysis

BBC Sport's John Bennett

Monaco are in a position of strength. With Mbappe sitting in the dugout last Sunday they won comfortably, and their next opponents Metz have lost both of their opening games. So they will feel confident of winning, even with weaker players like Guido Carrillo or Adama Diakhaby stepping in to partner in-form Radamel Falcao.

But is this a football decision or are they sending a message to Mbappe?

The 18-year-old started the French Super Cup and Monaco's first league game of the season but looked subdued and was subbed in both games. That adds weight to head coach Leonardo Jardim's argument that Mbappe's form is being effected by the speculation.

One man who will be hoping this gets sorted out quickly is France boss Didier Deschamps. In a World Cup year, two of his brightest young talents - Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele - are now sitting on the sidelines due to transfer sagas.

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